My calendar for the last weekend of February 2008 might not look exceptional to anyone but me. It was a leap year, and my version of Google calendar is annotated with extra instructions for my husband Greg, who was in charge of chauffeur duty for our boys that weekend. I was leaving with a friend to attend my very first Religious Education Congress in Anaheim. The calendar says things like “drive Adam to school” and “Eric’s tennis tournament”. There’s a special note to Greg about Adam’s fencing lesson, and a reminder to take the boys to Mass on Sunday.
Amidst those important appointments is one I scheduled for myself: “Coffee with Tom Grady, Booth #475”. That turned out to be a coffee date that drastically changed my life and started a partnership that has flourished over the past seven years. Over coffee, Tom invited me, a rookie blogger and podcaster, to consider the possibility of writing a book for Catholic moms. After recovering from my shock and ensuring him that I would need a lot of handholding, I consented to prayerful consider the possibility.
One of the wisest things Tom did in those early days of my partnership with Ave Maria Press was to assign me to my editor and dear friend Eileen Ponder. Eileen has helped me over our years together to see that the words “Catholic Mom” have a variety of meanings and perspectives. She has helped me to better serve every mom, regardless of her circumstances. And Tom Grady has been a true friend and supporter of our ongoing work here at the website and of my personal writing.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to be a part of the celebration my Ave Maria Press family held in honor of their 150th anniversary. It was a profound honor to represent my fellow CatholicMom.com Books authors at the event, which included an Open House at Ave’s gorgeously renovated offices and a Mass and Dinner at Moreau Seminary with the Holy Cross family. You can read a portion of Ave’s history here and view an interactive timeline here. At the dinner event, the Ave leadership team offered a touching oral reading which spanned the 15 decade history of the institution. A portion of those remarks was shared beautifully by Eileen and covered my personal history with Ave. The words brought tears of deep gratitude to my eyes.
I’m happy to share that as I write this, our team here at CatholicMom.com is again partnering with Ave for what will be our seventh book in that CatholicMom.com Books line. I believe it will be our finest joint effort to date, and can’t wait to unveil it for you soon. Until then, I want to send a sincere note of gratitude to my partners and friends at Ave Maria Press.
To Tom Grady, who took such a huge risk on an inexperienced writer, to Eileen Ponder, who has summoned words in my heart that I never knew were there, and to our entire team of colleagues at Ave Maria Press, you have my prayers for many more years of service to our Church and your readers. I thank you for the gift of being a part of the Ave family!
Copyright 2015 Lisa M. Hendey